wasp stinging a human in a finger

Stinging Insects

Stinging insects come in various shapes and sizes. As pollinators, they are beneficial and vital for the environment. However, these organisms can be a hazard if they decide to build nests near homes and businesses. These insects are most active during early fall and the second half of summer—looking for food that will sustain them through the winter season. 

Some insects such as paper wasps, hornets, and bees may choose to erect their nests inside walls, in attics, tree branches, or under leaves. In contrast, velvet ants and yellowjackets will construct their nests on the ground.

wasp stinging a human in a finger

Some species establish massive colonies, while others thrive in smaller groups or are even solitary. When it comes to food, some stinging insects consume nectar, fruits, and sugary foods—others will also eat meat and other insects.

Insects such as bees, wasps, and fire ants use a stinger to defend themselves when they feel threatened. Having a bad encounter with a colony can be distressing and uncomfortable, especially if you get stung multiple times—it can be really painful and can leave behind large red welts. Their venom can also trigger allergic reactions, sometimes requiring immediate medical attention.

The Most Common Stinging Insects In Texas

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are solitary insects that look similar to bumblebees. However, their abdomens are hairless, shiny, black, and smooth. Males are often attracted to sudden movements and hover closely to people—this is the gender that most people usually interact with. However, they are pretty harmless and only sting when provoked.


Yellow Jackets have thin waists and hairless, segmented bodies. Their bodies have distinct black and yellow stripes. They’re both beneficial and a pest since they consume other insects but can become aggressive and nest in areas that are often disturbed by kids and pets.


Wasps have grayish wings, long thin legs, and pinched waists. Their bodies are brown or black, with orange or yellow markings. Disturbing their nest can lead to multiple painful stings.


These insects are usually brownish-red to black and white. The bald-faced hornet is the most common species people typically encounter. Be careful—if they get disturbed, they can respond with aggression.

Mud Daubers 

These are solitary wasps that use mud to create their nests, hence the name mud dauber. Unlike hornets or yellow jackets, these wasps don’t live in colonies or guard their nests. Many of them are completely black, but some species do have yellow marks.

Prevention Tips 

If you notice an increase in bees, wasps, spiders, or other insects around your property, call a pest control company right away! The right experts can help you get the matter under control and keep these pests out of your house.  

Other tips: 

  • Keep garbage cans sealed at all times.
  • Repair leaky pipes right away.
  • Don’t allow stagnant water on your property.
  • Seal up any possible entry points.
  • Keep wood piles as far away from your house as possible.
  • Don’t allow yard waste to accumulate.
  • Plant bushes that discourage stinging insects.

How Serious Are Stinging Insects?

Stinging insects can be a problem for kids, the elderly, and unassuming adults who accidentally disturb nests. They are especially dangerous if you have allergies. Most stinging insects aren’t aggressive, but they all can be if they perceive you as a threat. The best thing to do is call a professional to handle any stinging insect problem you have.

What Causes Stinging Insect Problems?

Stinging insects search for food, water, and shelter at all times. If your home has any of these elements nearby, then you’re a perfect target. This is why it’s important to follow the tips mentioned above.

Where Do They Nest?

Their nesting spots will vary by species. Wasps, for example, will often form nests up high, under overhangs. Spiders, on the other hand, are often down lower. In general, you will find pests in out-of-the-way places. Usually, these are in high and low areas where they’re not likely to be disturbed, but with easy access to their food sources.

Do you have stinging insects on your property or around your house? Give Big Dave a call and we’ll send a trained expert to take care of it!

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